_First test this Saturday, Oct. 3 at noon_
The Southwest Florida Water Management District will begin monthly audible testing on Saturday, Oct. 3 of three sirens installed near the Edward Medard Park reservoir in southeast Hillsborough County.
The audible testing will continue to occur the first Saturday of each month at noon to ensure these sirens perform properly. During testing, the sirens will sound for about 15 seconds and are expected to reach a two-mile radius.
The sirens were installed as an additional safety procedure for the unlikely event of an emergency that could result in the failure of the reservoir’s dam. The 700-acre reservoir is part of Edward Medard Park, a popular recreation area located just east of Turkey Creek Road and south of State Road 60. The park is managed by Hillsborough County, while the reservoir dam is operated by the District. The District regularly inspects and maintains the reservoir’s earthen dam and control structures to ensure that they are safe and functioning properly.
The sirens were installed at the request of residents who attended public meetings held in 2003. The first siren is located at the entrance to the reservoir dam. The second siren is one mile east of where Bloomingdale Avenue dead ends at New River Hills Parkway. The third siren is located on the west side of River Drive just south of Lithia Pinecrest Road.
In the case of a real emergency at the dam, the sirens would be activated with alternating intervals of three minutes of sound followed by three minutes of silence to alert residents to evacuate and seek higher ground. This would continue until the conclusion of the emergency situation.
In preparation of the first test, the District recently mailed letters to nearly 10,000 residents and held two public meetings to answer questions about the sirens.
For more information, please call the Operations Department at the District’s Brooksville Headquarters at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211.